Where is the support for Egypt’s Copts?
“News reports about continuing attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt are disturbing, yet aside from under-reported rallies by Copts in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, there appear to have been no supporting protests from ‘human rights’ organizations or churches anywhere, and the media appear uninterested,” The Jewish Tribune reports.
By Jack Chivo
11/14/2011 Egypt (Jewish Tribune) – News reports about continuing attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt are disturbing, yet aside from under-reported rallies by Copts in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, there appear to have been no supporting protests from ‘human rights’ organizations or churches anywhere, and the media appear uninterested.
Indeed, over the past several weeks, there has been more media coverage of the ‘Occupy’ movement in North America and the trial of Michael Jackson’s physician, than of the fate of about 10 million Christians in Egypt. The Copts, whose presence in Egypt predates that of its Arab Muslim population, have been treated as second-class citizens and subjected to repeated murderous attacks, humiliation and degradation at the hands of the Muslim majority.
On Oct. 9, Copts demonstrated in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, to protest the destruction of an ancient church by a Muslim mob. The protestors were met with deadly force: 35 Christians were killed and hundreds more injured. According to the New York Times, “the military and riot police…appeared to be working in tandem with the Muslims (civilians), who were lashing out at the Christian Copts.” The British Telegraph reported that military armoured vehicles charged the demonstrators at full speed and crushed many to death.
What a contrast to the restraint shown by Egyptian security forces during the anti-Mubarak demonstrations held in Tahrir Square, most notably when CBS reporter Lara Logan was gang-raped while hundreds of people watched.
The Oct. 9 protest was triggered by a violent attack on St. George’s Church in the village of Al Marinab in Edfu province. The church was more than 100 years old and in a state of ruin after decades of neglect. Under Sharia (Islamic) law, Christians must receive approval from the government to build, or repair, churches. It took many years before they were granted permission to do the necessary work on St. George’s Church. As the work was being done, hundreds of Muslims attacked. According to reports, they removed the cross and set the church on fire while the district security chief and his men cheered. This was the fourth Christian church in Egypt destroyed by arson since March.
Immediately afterward, several Christian homes in the neighbourhood were also looted and demolished.